Chinese President Xi Jinping would be pleased if his meeting Saturday with Taiwan’s president, Ma Ying-jeou, swayed the island’s coming elections in favor of Mr. Ma’s Nationalist Party. But Xi certainly isn’t counting on that outcome. He knows that Ma is a deeply unpopular, lame duck leader and that the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) attempt to influence Taiwan’s elections in 1996 backfired. He’s also aware that public sentiment in Taiwan does not favor Beijing’s cause. Chinese officials track polls showing that most Taiwanese no longer identify as Chinese and have scant desire to join the People’s Republic.
Kissinger Institute Director Robert Daly explains the American and Chinese perspectives on the showdown in the South China Sea.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has long suffered from a poor international image and weak “soft power.” The country’s negative image has hindered international acceptance of its rise as a global great power. Because the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) wants China to “gain face” (yao mianzi) in the international arena, it has in recent years invested heavily in boosting the country’s international approval rating. Yet, to date, China’s considerable efforts to modernize its foreign propaganda apparatus have only been partly successful in shifting international public opinion. On the one hand, CCP efforts to raise global awareness of the country’s economic transformation have been very effective, as have its efforts to shape the discourse on Taiwan. On the other hand, as polls and other research show, CCP efforts to improve non-Chinese foreigners’ perceptions of China’s domestic politics and role on the international stage have so far largely failed to sway these audiences.
In a spirited Intelligence Squared U.S. debate, Asia Society Policy Institute President Kevin Rudd and Kissinger Institute Director Robert Daly faced off with University of Chicago Professor John Mearsheimer and Heritage Foundation Senior Fellow Peter Brookes over this provocative motion: “China and the U.S. are long-term enemies.”
The meeting between President Xi and President Obama has come and gone leaving in its wake opinions on outcomes and expectations. Kissinger Institute Director Robert Daly helps us sort through the details and also provides thoughts on how China views the TPP agreement.
Will Xi's talks in Washington be a waste of time and that the summit is doomed to fail? The answer is no. Sino-American conflict is not inevitable, and we cannot give up on what is arguably the most important bilateral relationship in the world, writes Ambassador J. Stapleton Roy.
Kissinger Institute Director Robert Daly discusses Malaysian views of Sino-U.S. cooperation and competition in the Asia Pacific with Dr. Pek Koon Heng.
"When U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet in Washington next week, the dynamics of the bilateral relationship will be more perilous than at any summit in the past thirty-six years," writes Robert Daly.
Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit this month will take place amid increasing tensions over the value of the yuan, alleged cyber-attacks, human rights violations, maritime disputes in the South China Sea, and questions about the health of the economy and Beijing's commitment to continued reform. For a rundown of major developments in U.S.-China relations in August, check out our latest Month in U.S.-China Relations issue.